Dao is ultimate Yin. Everything else both yins and yangs. Dao does nothing—it is Emptiness. We can say nothing more about “it”. It has no content. It is, as I have said, the big Question Mark, not the big Answer.

In Daoism water is symbolic of yin. It follows the path of least resistance. It yields. Yet in the process it wears down the hardest rock. It occupies the lowest places. But then in wearing and occupying it also yangs. Everything both yins and yangs.

This is of utmost importance in the context of Daoism’s psychological prioritization of yin. The goal is a realization of balance, not the eradication of yang. The implication is that typically we are not in balance. We have become excessive yangers.

The root cause of this is that we have taken our selves as “full and real”. We wish to be ultimate Yang. Immortal. The alternative renders us a passing phenomenon. The core Zhuangzian experience of realizing that we “have not-yet-begun-to-exist”, of “just being empty”, is thus the yinning of our yang. We are exhorted to identify with Transformation instead of a concrete, static self.

But then no-self is not no self; that would be the eradication of yang. No-self is the self free from belief in a reified self. It is yang recontextualized in yin. It is the realization of balance.

The ultimate value here is simply to enjoy being the self that we are—to get the most out of the fleeting experience of our “temporary lodging”.

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